Vapor Batch
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VB Plate instructions

Douglas Vapor Batch Plate

The Douglas Vapor Batch Plate is designed for both microbatch and vapor diffusion (sitting drop) crystallization.  It has 96 wells in the center and several reservoirs around the outside.  The reservoirs can be used to preserve microbatch crystals by preventing drying out of the wells, or they can be used for simple vapor diffusion experiments where up to 96 wells are equilibrated against a single precipitant (preliminary experiments suggest that this method finds more hits in screening experiments than the conventional method of using the same solution in the reservoir and the drop).


  • Prevents leakage of oil from microbatch experiments
  • Wells are individually labeled
  • 96 wells (with a 4.5 mm spacing)
  • Can be filled with 8-channel pipettes (transferring 6 drops at a time) by filling odd numbered wells first, then even numbered wells
  • Suitable for microbatch crystallization
  • Suitable for vapor diffusion experiments where many drops are equilibrated against one reservoir solution
  • If crystals are not obtained in vapor diffusion experiments, the concentration of the reservoir solution can easily be increased
  • Because wells are smaller than Miniplates, HLA or Terazaki plates, they are more suitable for drops below 0.5 microlitres
  • Available as a hydrophilic version for screening or a hydrophobic version for optimization.  (The hydrophilic version gives better liquid handling with small volumes, while the hydrophobic version reduces crystal nucleation and helps to prevent the crystals from sticking to the plastic)
  • If water or salt solution is placed in the reservoir wells of a microbatch experiment this will prevent the wells from drying out.  Microbatch crystals will then last for up to several months.
  • Suitable for the transport of crystals (plates can be turned upside down without harming the drops)

Please click here for detailed instructions for using the Douglas Vapor Batch Plate.

Holders are available from Douglas Instruments to provide a regular Linbro or  SBS ( i.e. regular 96-well) footprint. 

The Douglas Vapor Batch Plate was designed and is manufactured by Douglas Instruments.   It can be obtained from Douglas Instruments and from Hampton Research.

Douglas Instruments is running a competition for the best use of the Douglas Vapor Batch Plate.


Material Medical grade polystyrene
Length of plate at the base 81 mm
Width of the plate at the base 55 mm
Height of the plate with the lid on 20 mm
Number of wells 96
Shape of wells Truncated cone
Width of well at the top 3.8 mm
Width of well at bottom 1.1 mm
Depth of well 1.8 mm
Volume of well 9.3 microlitres
Typical volume of drop used in wells 0.4 microlitres ( i.e. 0.2 + 0.2) using robot, 2 microlitres ( i.e. 1 + 1) by hand.
Minimum volume of drop used in wells No limit
Maximum volume of drop used in wells Approx. 20 microlitres.
Number of reservoirs 4 reservoirs, each divided into three or four sections.  (Reservoirs are in communication with all wells.)
Volume of each section of reservoirs 1 ml
Total volume of reservoirs 14 ml

Ordering information:

VBATCH 1/1 PHO-80  Untreated  hydrophobic Vapor Batch plates - box of 80 plates
VBATCH 2/1 PHI-80 Plasma treated  hydrophilic Vapor Batch plates - box of 80 plates
VBATCH 1/1 PHO-10 Untreated  hydrophobic Vapor Batch plates - box of 10 plates
VBATCH 2/1 PHI-10 Plasma treated  hydrophilic Vapor Batch plates- box of 10 plates

For prices see the Products page.

                                                 2004 Douglas Instruments Ltd